Alasdair Lamont’s article for BBC this evening after meeting SPL chief executive, Neil Doncaster, is bound to provoke debate. The article is titled, “Newco Rangers could avoid sanctions from SPL”, although that claim is not supported by any direct quote from Doncaster. It could be that Doncaster made a supporting comment which wasn’t covered in the article, or that Alasdair is extrapolating from Doncaster’s comment that he is “not entirely sure why a distinction is made between the two routes [CVA or a Newco] out of administration”.
Before we open on what Doncaster actually said, it’s worth pointing out that he has never previously indicated that a Newco was likely to gain access to the SPL without penalty, despite being asked this question directly on a number of occasions. Indeed, he has proposed a number of penalties for such an eventuality, although any decision will now rest with a general meeting of the clubs, which he will not have a vote at.
To what Doncaster said:
“Newco is typically the way businesses in general escape from administration.”
Oh no it’s not. Businesses, in general, conclude their period of administration either by emerging with a CVA or by going out of business. The swathes of business failures across the UK in recent years has seen only a tiny percentage phoenix as a Newco. This statement is erroneous and misleading.
“I am not entirely sure why a distinction is made between the two routes out of administration.”
Let me explain, Mr Doncaster. In Scottish football history, no club has ever come out of administration as a Newco. Ever. Third Lanark, Airdrieonians and Gretna all failed to achieve a CVA and went out of business. Morton, Clydebank (now Airdrie United), Motherwell, Dundee (twice) and Livingston (twice), all achieved a CVA and remained in football.
Mr Doncaster must think that we are all daft, have no access to Scottish football records and have a complete ignorance of how “businesses in general” operate. He wishes to provide a Newco-Rangers with direct access to the top league in Scottish football, the first time anything like this has ever happened. Perhaps being frank with us on this matter would be advisable.
Even if I was of a mind to agree with Doncaster that rules should be changed to allow Newco direct access to the SPL, his feeble attempts to convince fans of the merits of this idea would leave me ruing the inadequacy of his plan’s execution.
All of this will be a welcome distraction from the main issue for Doncaster. The SPL allowed last season to conclude without letting clubs or fans know if Rangers competed with ineligible players. They have been in possession of the information required for over six weeks now but have no intention of letting fans know the outcome until after Newco is voted into the league.
It’s too late now. Doncaster has had his chance to report and his inquiry has failed to do so. It has now been taken out of his hands. He has failed you and all Scottish football fans.
It’s time for football executives to relinquish power and for the old media, the fans, the new media and the authorities to take control.
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